Custom UV Neon Blacklight
Blacklights have always had a real mystique about them, especially for us here at Carousel Lights having been teenagers in the 80’s in the UK. These stunning sources of ultraviolet (UV) light can transform ordinary items into brilliant illuminated objects. I’m sure everyone remembers your mate’s teeth glowing at the school disco. Well we do.
Whether you’re creating a psychedelic ambiance for an event, checking for counterfeit currency or want to stretch the creative boundaries and use UV neon in your Christmas visual merchandising or window display, we think neon ultraviolet blacklights are the go-to choice to make you stand out from the crown in Christmas 2023. But have you ever wondered how these neon signs actually work? In this article, we’ll unravel the science behind neon ultraviolet blacklights and discover the secrets that make them illuminate the darkness.
Custom Neon UV Blacklight – Turned On
The Basics of Ultraviolet Light
Before diving into neon ultraviolet blacklights, let’s understand the basics of ultraviolet (UV) light. UV light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, lying just beyond the violet end of the visible light spectrum. It’s divided into three categories:
UVA (Ultraviolet A) – Long-wave UV
UVB (Ultraviolet B) – Medium-wave UV
UVC (Ultraviolet C) – Short-wave UV
UVC is the most energetic and potentially harmful form of UV radiation. Fortunately, our atmosphere absorbs most UVC rays, protecting us from their harmful effects. UVA and UVB, on the other hand, are less energetic and have a range of practical applications, including tanning and sterilisation.
Custom Neon UV Blacklight – Turned Off
How Blacklights Generate UV Light
Blacklights, particularly neon ultraviolet blacklights, are designed to emit UVA radiation. The secret behind their glow lies in phosphorescent materials and gas discharge.
Phosphorescent Coating – Blacklight neon glass is typically coated with a special phosphorescent material that absorbs UV light and then re-emits it as visible light. This process is known as fluorescence. When the phosphor coating absorbs the UVA light emitted by the neon glass, it responds by emitting visible light, often in the violet or blue range. This visible light is what makes objects illuminated by blacklights appear to “glow.”
Gas Discharge – Neon ultraviolet blacklights use a low-pressure gas discharge method to produce UVA radiation. Inside the glass tube of the bulb, there is a small amount of neon gas mixed with a tiny amount of mercury vapor. When electricity is applied to the gas, it ionises, creating a plasma that emits UVA photons as it relaxes back to its ground state. These UVA photons then interact with the phosphorescent coating to produce visible light.
What’s so special about using neon for custom UV blacklights?
You can buy any UV blacklight online for not much money, and it’ll do the job of making this glow. But the brilliant thing about using neon, is that we can bend the glass to your custom designs. So whether it’s words, phrases, custom UV neon logos or any other shape, it’ll look absolutely stunning whether it’s turned on or off.
Applications of Neon Ultraviolet Blacklights
The unique properties of neon ultraviolet blacklights have made them invaluable in various fields, including:
Entertainment – Custom UV neon blacklights are a staple in nightclubs, bars, and parties. They create a visually stunning atmosphere by making fluorescent and phosphorescent materials glow brightly. Clothes, paintings, teeth and shoelaces will all light up!
Security – They are used in security applications, such as verifying the authenticity of documents, currency, and IDs. Many governments use UV ink on official documents that can only be seen under UV light.
Forensics – In crime scene investigations, UV blacklights are used to detect bodily fluids, trace evidence, and hidden clues that may not be visible under normal lighting conditions.
Art and Design – Artists and designers use blacklights to create unique and visually striking effects in paintings, posters, and clothing.
Visual Merchandising & Display – It can be pretty challenging for retailers to stand out from the crowd from Halloween through to New Year, but we rarely see custom shaped UV neon used in these applications and they certainly shop people in their tracks.
Christmas Retail Windows – Arguably the ideal application for custom UV neon signs, they can be used as a hero piece, or more discretely, in Christmas windows to generate huge press attention. They’re extremely instagrammable too.
Neon ultraviolet blacklights are not just a source of visual fascination; they are a testament to the intriguing science of UV light. These devices work by combining phosphorescent materials and gas discharge to produce UVA radiation, which then interacts with the phosphor coating to create visible light. From entertainment to security and forensics, neon UV blacklights have found their way into numerous applications, making them an essential tool in many industries. As you bask in the glow of your next blacklight party or use one to verify the authenticity of documents, take a moment to appreciate the captivating science behind these neon wonders.